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Quantum of Solace Interview

Quantum of Solace Interview


GY: Garrett Young - Producer of Quantum of Solace
CCC: Cheat Code Central

CCC: You're talking about path finding - making sure the environment communicates where you need to go.

GY: There's path finding and then there's fun spaces for battle. Like the spa, that's a fun battle space - that's an example that wasn't even in the movie. So yeah, it's pathing, it's fun battle spaces, but it's more about the interactivity of the combat spaces and getting through an environment without being seen. That drives where we put stuff.

CCC: Let's go back to that lock sequence [a mini-game]: is that just where you're hitting the directional pad and then timing it - say you have 30 seconds?

GY: The timing will vary based on the difficulty level and your progression, like the easier lock-hacks and security cameras will be at the beginning of the game, and then as you progress through, it will get a little bit more challenging.

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CCC: There's also the balance beam section. Is that like Uncharted where he sort of wobbles around?

GY: Yeah, a little bit

CCC: Are you planning on doing Sixaxis?

GY: We are doing a PS3 version, and if the Sixaxis stuff feels really good, we'll absolutely do it. If it doesn't feel really good, then we'll figure out a way to make it feel really good

CCC: Talking to the World at War guys - they said having that engine [COD4] absolutely saved them so much time.

GY: It saved us a lot of time. We'd have to be spending a lot of time on the plumbing of our game, rendering stuff on screen, getting stuff loaded, fitting stuff into memory, when we already have an engine that's already proven for a first person shooter and using arguably the best one out there. People say Unreal is the best one out there, but I would say this one's pretty damn good.

Quantum of Solace Interview

CCC: When I've talked to other developers they say Unreal is great for 360, but when you bring it over to PS3 it starts to run everything at about 10 frames per second.

GY: Ouch. Yeah. And then you've got your programmers on the team trying to optimize stuff that's not their code. Our stuff - yeah, we're really lucky to be working with those guys and work on the COD4 engine.

CCC: With that engine in place you can start right away and say, "Here's what I want to put into the game feature set-wise." But you guys talked about what you had to cut out. You talked about driving as one of those ideas that had to go.

GY: We're done with most of those decisions - they're really the kind you make in pre-production and in prototype, maybe a little while after prototype. I think at the end of the day with the game we ship, everyone at the time is going to be really proud of it. I think everyone at the company is going to be really proud of the game. You can always sit back and say, "Oh, Call of Duty 4, I wish I did this" or "BioShock, I wish I did this." Hopefully, if that team stays together, you get to do that in the next version. But still, those are great games that stand by themselves and stand strong by themselves. I think where people really start to question and say, "Oh, I really wanted to do that" is when you've got poor quality games and people remark, "Oh, if they just added that, it would have been a better game." The games that are solid aren't reinventing the wheel. BioShock has cool environments underwater that you haven't seen in another game, but the core mechanic is kind of similar - the plasmids thing is unique to first person shooters, but it isn't entirely new.

CCC: Especially if you played System Shock.

GY: Exactly. So, they're not reinventing the wheel, but it's done really well and it's well polished. I think that's a big part of what makes games fun. So, I think if you release a bad game, then people point fingers saying, "Oh, it would have been better if you added this, that, and the other," but if you release a really great game then there's less of those types of questions.

Quantum of Solace Interview

CCC: There's a time crunch that comes with a movie tie-in. Are you guys going to have to launch the day the new Bond movie comes out?

GY: Well, I can tell you this: I've been making games for 13 years and I've never NOT had a time crunch. You always tend to know what your ship date is regardless of whether you're tied to a movie, tied to a holiday, or a season. You know how passionate game developers are for their game and making a great game, and that's why game developers crunch because we know, "Hey, it's getting down - whether it's a movie or not a movie - we've got to release this thing." It's not so much that you back load your work at all or you're lazy in the beginning, it's just that you want to make something better and that's why we spend our time crunching and working hard - we want it to be the best possible thing it can be, and that's what it really comes down to more than a movie date.

By Jason Lauritzen
CCC Game Journalist

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